Located in the heart of southwestern Ontario, Oxford County is home to approximately 114,000 people across eight municipalities "growing stronger together" through a two-tiered, partnership-oriented government, the County of Oxford. Visit www.oxfordcounty.ca or follow us on Twitter and Facebook
Oxford County's vision is one of vibrant communities working well and growing stronger together.
County Council continued its work to advance the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan in 2017, working with its community partners to promote sustainable entrepreneurship, build on the Community Wellbeing Survey, take initial steps to becoming a zero waste community, and enhance the County's electric vehicle infrastructure. Most significantly, inspired by work begun by Operation Sharing, County Council passed a motion in November 2017 committing to zero poverty in our community.
Also in November 2017, Oxford County Public Health and Elgin St. Thomas Public Health announced their intent to merge into a new health unit. The announcement created Southwestern Public Health, an independent health unit serving 204,000 people in Oxford County, Elgin County and the City of St. Thomas. Oxford County Council retains four positions on the new board of health, ensuring that the needs of Oxford residents continue to be reflected in the delivery of public health programs.
In 2017, Oxford County began its advocacy for high-performance rail versus high-speed rail--as part of its continuing focus on building a strong regional transportation strategy for southwestern Ontario. High-speed rail presents unique challenges to rural communities, while high-performance rail exerts less impact on the environment but still offers higher than conventional speeds at lower costs because of its reliance on existing infrastructure.
Moving into 2018, the final term of the current Council, Oxford County will continue its commitment to community sustainability, which is embedded in the 2015-2018 Strategic Plan. We are now at a point at which we can begin to see how far we have travelled down the road since undertaking our commitments to 100% renewable energy, zero waste, and more, although there still road ahead to achieve those goals. This year's visual theme of aerial photography over Oxford County acknowledges that unique vista as we continue on our journey.
Warden, Oxford County
Peter Crockett, P. Eng.
Chief Administrative Officer
Through a total budget of $231.4 million in 2017, the County delivered a range of services that support Oxford's commitment to future sustainability and improved quality of life for current and future generations.
In 2017, the County invested in low-carbon municipal vehicles to expand its â€œgreen fleetâ€; capital projects to sustain its property, roads, equipment and infrastructure; and community grants that support the County's economic, environmental and social wellbeing as articulated in the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan.
The 2017 year-end budget surplus was $2.5 million, resulting from a variety of factors including property assessment adjustments, rent surplus for County housing, higher than expected recycling revenues, investment income and unfilled job vacancies.
Based on indicators of government financial condition, the Audited Financial Statements and the accompanying Council Report CS 2018-14 reaffirm the County's ability to continue to maintain its strong liquidity position with a moderate debt burdenâ€“ key strengths necessary for financial sustainability.
Lynn Buchner, CPA, CGA
Director of Corporate Services
Peter M. Crockett, Chief Administrative Officer
(CAO/Clerk's Office, Tourism, Strategic Communication & Engagement)
Lynn Beath, Director, Public Health & Paramedic Services
(Public Health, Land Ambulance, Emergency, 9-1-1, Emergency Planning & Management)
Paul Beaton, Director, Human Services
(Social Assistance, Shelter, Children's Services)
Lynn Buchner, Director, Corporate Services
(Finance, Information Systems, County Library, County Archives, Provincial Offences Administration, Customer Service, Legislative Services)
Corrie Fransen, Director, Woodingford Lodge
(Woodstock, Ingersoll & Tillsonburg)
Gordon Hough, Director, Community Planning
(Development Planning, Land Use Policy Development)
David Simpson, Director, Public Works
(Engineering, Facilities, Fleet, Roads, Waste Management, Wastewater, Water and Woodlands Conservation)
Amy Smith, Director, Human Resources
(Labour Relations, Staff Development, Staffing, Total Compensation, Wellness and Health & Safety)
Oxford County Council is made up of the mayors of each of the eight local area municipalities plus two additional councillors from the City of Woodstock, the largest population centre in the County. To learn more visit www.oxfordcounty.ca/yourcouncil
families receiving child care fee subsidy, with 707 children
available licensed day care spaces for children
subsidized public housing units
not-for-profit housing units
affordable housing units
Oxford residents and families aided through financial assistance and employment supports
public health inspections
visits to community dental clinic
paramedic call responses
home visits by public health nurses
long-term care beds
attendees of 2,890 programs
matters scheduled for Provincial Offences Court
bridges and culverts
Municipal water systems
serving 80,000 people
serving 76,000 people
Oxford County works to meet the needs and collective interests of our communities, residents and businesses through customer-focused services that improve quality of life.
In June, Oxford County welcomed York University's first annual International Renewable Energy Academy to showcase Oxford's commitment to community-based renewable energy development. The experiential learning took place at York University in Toronto and at various points of interest across Oxford County, including the Whites Lane microGRID in Woodstock and the Oxford Community Wind Farm. The program brings together world-class experts, practitioners and future leaders to find renewable energy solutions locally and globally. More
Throughout 2017 Oxford County worked with community partners to offer opportunities to celebrate and honour indigenous histories, cultures and current events. This included a March performance by Tribal Vision Dance; an Indigenous Education Day also in March; and a free social gathering in October featuring children's activities, drumming performances, and information on local indigenous groups.
Oxford County teamed up with Scotiabank and Future Oxford to offer homeowners special lending rates for renovations that improve the energy efficiency of their home. Eligible home improvements include replacing old windows, adding insulation, or upgrading to a high-efficiency furnace. Supporting residents in their green home improvements promotes the aims of the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan. More
Oxford County Public Health expanded its Naloxone program in 2017 using provincial funding to address opioid overdoes and deaths. The funding provided eligible community organizations with training and resources to distribute Naloxone kits to those at risk of an opioid overdose. More
The Future Oxford Legacy Fund awarded its first business loans, for $100,000 and $50,000, to support local sustainable business in 2017. Additionally, the first grant-based funding of $500 was awarded to the Rural Oxford Economic Development Corporation. The Future Oxford Legacy Fund is funded by an Oxford County community grant. More
2017 saw Woodingford Loge partnering with the Woodstock General Hospital to offer long term care staff across Oxford County an opportunity to join a free learning day. The collaborative event fostered connections between staff and community organizations and provided local nursing staff a chance to share experiences and further their professional development.
In early 2017, Oxford County installed two Level 3 and four Level 2 electric vehicle chargers at locations in Woodstock and Ingersoll under the provincial Electric Vehicle Chargers Ontario (EVCO) program. The EVCO funding supports Oxford's Electric Vehicle Accessibility Plan, which aims to establish a network of electric vehicle charging stations across the County through public and private partnerships. More
In June, Oxford County and the Town of Tillsonburg celebrated the grand opening of the newest Oxford County recreational trail. The trail completes a â€œmissing linkâ€ in the Trans Canada Trail system and connects Tillsonburg through Norwich Township to Norfolk County with 27 kilometers of on and off road trail. The County is currently completing a number of trail improvements, including placement of trail surface limestone screenings, signage, debrushing, etc. More
Oxford County completed the first phase of its public consultation in 2017 for the update to the Transportation Master Plan, offering residents an opportunity to provide input in the spring through an online survey and in-person town halls. Following the second phase of public consultation planned for 2018, a summary of all feedback will be available for public review along with high-level recommendations before the final Plan is completed. The Transportation Master Plan is used to identify and address rural and urban transportation issues and guide the County's transportation programs and investments over a 20-year window. More
In February, Oxford County released "Empowering Ontario's Short Line Railways," the second report in a series that advocates for a strong regional transportation strategy for southwestern Ontario. A thriving short line rail system contributes to the region's economic competitiveness and offers environmental benefits by helping to reduce high-carbon fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. More
In August 2017, Oxford County released an update to the 2016 document, "New Directions: Advancing Public Transportation in Southwestern Ontario," which advocates for the development of an integrated public transportation master plan for southwestern Ontario. The update, in response to a May 2017 announcement on provincial plans for a high-speed rail corridor, states Oxford County's request to consider all viable options to high-speed rail, including high-performance rail. More
In November, County Council passed a resolution committing to achieving Zero Poverty. With more than 4,200 Oxford County residents living on an income too low to cover basic needs, this initiative aims to strengthen well-being for all through leadership, innovation and the transformation of relationships. Zero Poverty is consistent with the â€œcommunityâ€ goals of the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan and the findings of the Oxford County Community Wellbeing Survey. The Draft Zero Poverty Plan was released in June 2018.
In February, Community Oxford hosted a community leader meeting in Ingersoll to release the results of the 2016 Community Wellbeing Survey. The meeting was an opportunity for service providers, businesses and groups to discuss how to work together to understand the survey results and how to use them to better serve the community. More
As part of its work to advance the 2016 Draft 100% Renewable Energy Plan, Oxford County surveyed residents to learn more about how they use and conserve energy at home through the Community Energy Survey. Working with MBA students from the Ivey Business School at Western University, the survey gauged the community's openness to renewable energy and also asked homeowners how the County can support their energy conservation efforts. The survey was also used to inform the launch of the Solar Oxford Challenge in 2018. More
Oxford County and its partners unveiled the Hodges Pond restoration project in July 2017. Nearly 400 acres of land in Norwich is being re-naturalized for the project, which is possible through funding from the Cowan Foundation and expertise from Stewardship Oxford, Ducks Unlimited and the Upper Thames River Conservation. More
Oxford County Council and the Elgin St. Thomas Board of Health announced in November 2017 their intent to merge their two health units into a single new health unit. Approved through provincial regulation in 2018, the merger forms a new organization, Southwestern Public Health, which delivers public health programs and services to about 204,000 people in a geography spanning Oxford County, Elgin County and the City of St. Thomas. More
Oxford County continued its review and consultation process on an updated woodlands conservation by-law in 2017. The by-law is an important tool that helps to retain and enhance woodlands by encouraging responsible forestry management practices and environmental stewardship of woodland areas in Oxford County. The revised by-law was passed in June 2018. More
Oxford County expanded its budget consultation process in 2017 through an enhanced online survey to help identify priorities for the 2018 budget year. Residents were asked for input on which services should be enhanced, maintained or reduced, and asked for overall perception of value for tax dollars. The expanded 2017 survey gave residents a chance to provide input on their local area municipal level budgets in addition to the County budget. Survey results were shared with councils during 2018 budget deliberations. More
Oxford County, Future Oxford, Transition to Less Waste and Tourism Oxford introduced a new resource in November to help address the amount of waste generated at local events and festivals. The Zero Waste Event Planning Guide offers practical tips and suggestions, along with a growing list of local resources to support events of all sizes. More
Oxford County Human Services began planning for changes to early years programming with an online survey in 2017. The survey asked parents and caregivers what they would like to see in early years programming for children 0-6 years of age. Feedback from the survey will help shape early years programming in Oxford County. More
Oxford County was a key planning partner for the 2nd Future Oxford Expo held in April 2017. The event featured expert speakers, a local vendor marketplace, and a green vehicle lot. More
Oxford County continued building its green fleet of low-carbon municipal vehicles in 2017, becoming the first municipality in Canada to introduce electric hybrid ambulances and compressed natural gas snowplows. The County also converted an additional 15 light trucks to hybrid gasoline/compressed natural gas; expanded on its 2016 anti-idling technology pilot for ambulances; and added another fully electric vehicle to its fleet. Together, these technologies reduce the County's CO2 emissions by a projected 6.2% per year. More
In August 2017, Oxford County broke ground on the new Waste Management Administration & Education Centre in South-West Oxford. The â€œnet zeroâ€ building uses an energy efficient building envelope and solar photovoltaic panels to completely offset the energy use of the building, and the site generates enough solar energy to offset the remainder of the landfill operation's electricity requirements. The new facility was opened in June 2018. More
The research supports a potential approach that would recover as much as 90% of material resources from the incoming mixed solid waste, thereby reducing the amount of residual waste that ends up in the Countyâ€™s municipal landfill. This would extend the current life span of the landfill nearly 40 years to the year 2100. More
In 2017, Tourism Oxford received gold-level certification from the Green Tourism certification program. The certification recognizes Tourism Oxford's demonstrated commitment to environmental preservation and sustainability. More
Woodingford Lodge staff, volunteers and residents were honoured by the Ontario Long Term Care Association in 2017 in four separate award categories for achievements in long-term care. This included Woodingford's Best Practice Spotlight Implementation Team, which received the Quality Improvement Team of the Year Award. More
Oxford County employees participated in an employment engagement survey in spring 2017, allowing the County to assess its level of employee engagement as well as the effect of changes made since the 2014 survey. The survey informed an updated Human Resources plan for release in 2018 and is a critical component of the County's efforts to improve workplace satisfaction and work performance. More
General Revenue $132,781,421
Other Sources $6,390,423
Property Taxes $59,677,963
*excludes households not connected to water and wastewater
**excludes Woodstock households
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Photo: Dudek Photography
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